NBA Odds: Is This Finally the Year for the Mavs?
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 5/11/2011
The Dallas Mavericks have broken the hearts of their fans on so many occasions. Despite a winning record in every season since 2000-01, a first-ever NBA championship has eluded the Mavs.
Oh, they’ve come close; losing to Miami in the 2006 NBA Finals. But most of the time it’s been the story of an underachieving squad, the worst such instance coming in the 2007 playoffs when Dallas went 67-15 in the regular season and lost to Golden State in the first round. That one still hurts.
Will the 2011 playoffs end in the same disappointment for Mavs fans? Or could this finally be the year?
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Coming off a four-game sweep of the two-time defending champion Lakers, we’re giving Dallas 5/2 odds to win the NBA Championship at Bodog’s online sportsbook. Only the Miami Heat (3/2) is a heavier favorite to win it all.
"I don't think I've seen a team play to that level in a series in a game like they played this afternoon," Lakers coach Phil Jackson said Sunday after his team was blown away in Game 4, 122-86. "You'd like to have an opportunity to challenge, but we didn't."
Next on the hit list for the Mavs will be the winner of the Oklahoma City-Memphis series, currently tied 2-2 with Game 5 going Wednesday. Regardless of its opponent in the next round, Dallas should be favored to win the conference finals and advance to play one of Miami, Boston, Chicago or Atlanta.
We’ve seen good futures betting support for the Mavs since they took control of their series with the Lakers. However, there’s still some hesitancy to trust a team that’s come up short so many times in the past. Bettors have been fooled by Dallas before.
Still, it’s hard not to get excited by a team with Dirk Nowitzki on it, especially the Nowitzki we’ve seen in these playoffs.
"In my opinion, he's a top 10 player in NBA history because of the uniqueness of his game and how he's carried this franchise on his back for over a decade," Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle told ESPN on Monday. "He's just right. He's leading the team. His shot-making is great. He's passing the ball great. He's one of the guys that's directing traffic for us defensively.
"When he's on the floor, we feel like we can beat anybody. He's that good."
But can the Mavs beat the Heat? Because that’s the question everyone’s asking out loud or in the backs of their minds. No offense to the Bulls (7/2 odds to win the NBA championship) intended; Chicago didn’t finish first overall for nothing. However, Miami is clearly the team to beat.
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